Tuesday 26 June 2018

Ultimate Smash Super Experience Bros. - My History of the Smash Bros. Series [Gaming]

With E3 revealing a lot about this game, I thought it was time to take a look at the Super Smash Bros. series and my experiences with it. I might have been burnt out slightly by how much focus Ultimate got throughout Nintendo’s showing, but it didn’t slice any part of that excitement away.

My experiences begin with Melee on the Gamecube, where I was introduced to a whole host of Nintendo characters. I was familiar with Pokémon, and the cast from Mario Kart: Double Dash, but everything else was completely new to me. From what I remember, the family didn’t get a Gamecube until around the end of 2003, which replaced the PS1 as main console until the PS2 slimline came around a year later. I didn’t have many games, but Smash Bros. Melee and Mario Kart: Double Dash – along with Sonic Adventure 2 and Pokémon Colosseum – were my main games for it around that time. You can see how little experience I actually had. If I was to run down all the games I could remember owning back then for all consoles [or at least those I’d played] the list would indeed be small, so you can understand how I wouldn’t have experience with a lot of the franchises within Melee.

I can’t remember who I tried first or anything of my first experiences, but I was happy with the game, and had found an attraction to Kirby. The pink floaty ball was the character I came to use most often, and has followed me as a main character in the series throughout. Another character I found myself using was Captain Falcon, along with occasional use of Link. I suspect that I had played most of the characters at first to see who I liked, but I was never competitive with it. It was just a fun game to pass the time. I liked the Adventure mode the most, with Stamina Smash being a second. I also liked the stages on offer, as it was giving me looks into the various franchises.

There’s not much to say on Brawl other than the fact it introduced Sonic the Hedgehog to the fight. I was definitely ready to try him out, but found I wasn’t understanding how to play him very well and went back to Kirby. For a small time, I had swapped from Kirby to Meta Knight, though I would always be going back to Kirby for lengths at a time. The Masterpieces were a great addition in my eyes, allowing me to experience the games these characters came from for the first time. I particularly liked F-Zero, and would always be returning to it. As for the main mode of Brawl, Subspace Emissary was good fun to play through, and seeing all these characters interact – while limited in interactions – was fun. It felt like a true adventure, though at times I would have trouble adapting to some of the characters.

When it came to the 3DS and WiiU games, I already gave my views on them with my reviews. I’d found a new character to add to my list in Duck Hunt Duo, and started using Link more. I also tried out some of the Fire Emblem characters and tried again with Sonic. The 3DS game was fun, with Smash Run being a fun mode to mess around in, but lacking the true feeling on an adventure. And while Smash Tour on the WiiU was fun for the first few rounds, it was quickly forgotten – even at meetings with friends where it was more common to put a game of Wii Party U on then onto some Mario Kart. I liked the 3DS game despite the screen and cramped space – which was made slightly better by swapping normal attacks to the Y button. For the WiiU, I came across a Hori Gamecube-styled classic controller and have used that ever since for all games I could.

And now to Smash Ultimate, where the series comes together into one package. From what we know, all characters are back. Every stage is looking to be back, so can we please also have Adventure mode back? It could even be expanded, since there’s a whole lot of new franchises in the Smash Bros. fold since Melee. Since this is the Ultimate game, I think it would be fitting for the original Smash to be included within – to give people a taste of how far the series has come.

It’s not just old things here, as the announcement trailer gave us Inklings from Splatoon as characters, and we saw more representation from the E3 footage – with a stage in the form of Murray Towers and an Assist Trophy in the form of the Squid Sisters. Ridley from the Metroid series is also new – finally making his way to the fight. A Mario Odyssey stage in the form of New Donk City also make an appearance. There’s many more things being added daily on the website, with some new songs already being present.

Now, I said about bringing back Adventure mode, but with the amount of franchises now within the series, having it play out the same as in Melee – where each franchise was represented as a section in the linear route – would be too long. Instead, I’m proposing the start to be Mario themed – like in Melee – with two branching paths to choose after. Two branching paths would go from that stage, with a merge happening with the inside line. The diagram below explains it better. It works as an expansion to Classic mode from 4-3DS where you’d have a choice where to go. While some franchises would still have to be represented with just a battle on a stage much the same as classic, there is scope to go beyond for some franchises. With Adventure mode, there was the Mario level being similar to a platforming stage, F-Zero had you running across the track while making sure not to get hit by the racers, and even The Legend of Zelda stage being an underground maze. While I’m not going into detail with what I’d want [maybe another time], there’s definitely room for several new franchises to get the adventure mode treatment.

With Adventure mode taking cues from 4-3DS’ classic, the proper classic mode can either be similar to 4-WiiU or be the more linear mode of the solo play. If we’re including Stadium mode as well, Target Blast needs to go. It would be crazy to have a different layout for all the targets per character, or even per franchise, but Target Test/Smash should return with different layout per difficulty. Multi-Man Smash and Home-Run Contest should be here as well. While I haven’t spent much time in Stadium in recent times, it’s still good for a quick blast every so often.

As for who I’m using in this game, the main one should be obvious. Kirby will be back as my main. Something I didn’t mention when talking about Smash 4-3DS/WiiU were the Mii Fighters – who also return here. I used them quite a bit in 4-3DS/WiiU, making sure to have at least one of each class even if I mainly used the swordfighter [the cyber skin allowing the sword to become near enough a lightsaber]. Depending on how they work in Ultimate, I’ll be choosing them. I definitely want to be trying out the Inkling, and I’ll be giving most a fair try. The DLC characters of 4-3DS/WiiU will be new to me, so I’ll be giving them a try as well.

There is a great amount of content already known, a number of adjustments made, and a few new things added. And still yet more is to come. This will be the best celebration of Smash Bros. yet, and here’s hoping that more new content is still under wraps for a great reveal.